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Proteus

[proh-tee-uh s, -tyoos] /ˈproʊ ti əs, -tyus/
noun
1.
Classical Mythology. a sea god, son of Oceanus and Tethys, noted for his ability to assume different forms and to prophesy.
2.
a person or thing that readily changes appearance, character, principles, etc.
3.
plural protei [proh-tee-ahy] /ˈproʊ tiˌaɪ/ (Show IPA). (lowercase) Bacteriology. any of several rod-shaped, aerobic bacteria of the genus Proteus, sometimes found as pathogens in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts of humans.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for proteuses

Proteus

/ˈprəʊtɪəs/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a prophetic sea god capable of changing his shape at will
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for proteuses

Proteus

c.1400, from Greek Proteus (see Protean).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proteuses in Medicine

Proteus Pro·te·us (prō'tē-əs)
n.
A genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped aerobic bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that includes certain species associated with human enteritis and urinary tract infections.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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proteuses in Culture
Proteus [(proh-tee-uhs, proh-tyoohs)]

In classical mythology, a god who served Poseidon. Proteus could change his shape at will.

Note: Someone or something that easily takes on several different forms may be called “protean.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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